Robert E. Lee Twice-signed Gardner carte-de-visite

31 Oct

Scarce 2.5 x 4 carte-de-visite bust portrait of Lee in a profile pose, boldly signed at the bottom of the image, “R. E. Lee,” and signed and inscribed on the reverse, “Miss Emily M. Bennett, with the regards of R. E. Lee, Charleston, 27 Apl 1870.” Published by Alexander Gardner of Washington, DC. A bit of light soiling to the image, a bit of chipping to gilt borders, and a thin band of surface loss to top edge of reverse, otherwise fine condition. This photo was taken by the acclaimed Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner during an 1866 sitting and is an uncommon twice-signed example, with both signatures exceptionally crisp and appealing. The recipient, Emily M. Bennett, was the sixteen-year-old daughter of prominent Charleston merchant William Jefferson Bennett. On the evening of April 27, 1870, Bennett hosted an elaborate reception for Lee at his Charleston home, with dozens of guests including two former Confederate Treasury Secretaries—Memminger and Trenholm. Boasting two exquisite signatures and dated to a special event in honor of the distinguished general, this is a particularly interesting portrait. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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Posted by on October 31, 2014 in Robert E. Lee


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